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This month, the government’s rules regarding house moves changed and the official advice is now that “people who wish to move home can do so.” The possibilities for home improvements and renovations have also opened up, and if you’re a landlord you might be wondering whether you can make improvements to your property during this time – either to help your current tenants or to attract new ones. So today we’re looking at the rules regarding renovations during lockdown and what you can do to make sure any work on your property is done safely.

Carry out essential work

The first thing you should ask yourself is whether the work you want to carry out is necessary: inviting anyone into your property brings with it inherent risks, and it’s best not to take these risks without good reason. Of course, if the property is in desperate need of repair, or is dangerous or unhealthy to live in, then the work should go ahead. Also, landlords are still expected to ensure that the gas and electricity supply in the property is safe, which can include carrying out inspections and repairs; these should be done with minimal physical contact, or avoided entirely if someone in the property is symptomatic or self-isolating.

Talk to your tenants

It will be easier to carry out renovation work if your property is currently empty, but if you have tenants and you decide to go ahead with the work, it’s vital that you talk to them first. Although you may be happy allowing tradespeople into the property, your tenants might not be, and you should take their comfort into account. You may be able to reach a compromise – carrying out only external work, for instance – or it may be best to put it off for now until the situation improves. And of course, if anybody in the household is self-isolating, shielding or has coronavirus symptoms, then the work should definitely not go ahead.

Take safety precautions

If it is OK for you to continue, the government has released some key guidance that you, your tenants and the tradespeople you hire should follow to ensure everybody stays safe:

  • Maintain social distancing: We are all still expected to maintain social distancing (i.e. staying 2 metres apart) from people outside our households, and this includes tradespeople working on the property.
  • Wash your hands: If anybody who is not part of the household comes into the property, they should wash their hands right away and use a separate towel to dry their hands. This must be washed after it has been used.
  • Don’t offer refreshments: Although it’s second nature to offer anyone working on your home a cup of tea, don’t do this. Tradespeople are advised to bring their own refreshments, to minimise contact with the householders.

This continues to be a very strange time, but thanks to these rules you should be able to carry out certain renovation and maintenance jobs as safely as possible.

If you have a property to rent in Bristol, Gough Quarters would be happy to guide you through the process. Contact us today to find out exactly how we can help.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

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